Will my coming to a counseling session be reported on my credit report?
We do not report to the credit reporting agencies or your creditors that you have come to us for counseling. If you chose to start a Debt Management Plan, those creditors you put on the plan must be contacted by Financial Pathways of the Piedmont (previously CCCS) and those creditors can report this to the three credit reporting agencies.
Does a Debt Management Plan hurt my credit score?
Creditors have the right to add a comment into your credit report that you are on a Debt Management Plan. This does not change your credit score. However, this comment can limit your ability to get new credit while on a Debt Management Plan. Once you are off the plan, this comment should be removed from your report by the creditor that put the comment there.
Do you offer solutions other than a Debt Management Plan?
Absolutely! In fact, less than one in ten clients that we see choose a Debt Management Plan. It is great tool if it is the appropriate tool. What we try to do is give people options, examine each option, and help lead them to their best decision - many times, the best decision is not a Debt Management Plan.
Can you help me save my home?
Yes. We are a HUD approved housing counseling center and we have HUD Certified Housing Counselors. We know what options are available to you regarding keeping your home whether you have a conventional loan, FHA loan, USDA or VA loan.
Can you help me if I think I am a victim of identity theft?
Yes. We can guide you in the steps you will need to take to protect and restore your credit.
Can you explain my credit report to me?
Yes. We offer what we call a "credit report review" where we look at everything listed on your credit report. You must provide your report, either through acquiring your free report through AnnualCreditReport.com, or you may purchase a report through CCCS Consumer’s Choice Credit Reports. We can offer you guidance on how to improve your credit report and credit score.
Can you help me set up a budget?
We can guide you in the process of setting up and reviewing your personal budget. We can make suggestions regarding ways to possibly increase your net income and also decrease your monthly expenses.
Can you help me settle my debts?
We can review with you with you the pros and cons of debt settlement. We can also guide you in the proper process for settling a debt.
All my accounts are now with collection agencies. Can you work with collection agencies?
Many collection agencies will now accept payments through a Debt Management Plan which we offer. But we will work with you to determine the best way to pay off these debts which may or may not be through a Debt Management Plan.
Why should we choose you instead of those counseling services we see all the time on TV?
We have been providing trusted financial guidance for nearly forty years. We are not trying to sell you anything. We are simply here to provide you with personal and professional financial guidance from caring certified counselors.
I have never had credit; can you help me?
We can guide you in establishing credit, and in the proper use of credit, the pitfalls to avoid, and how to build a good credit score.
I can not come in for an appointment. Can you still help me?
We offer both telephone and Internet (e-mail) counseling.
I only have one question. Can I call and talk to a counselor?
Yes. If our counselors are already in a counseling session, you may have to leave a message but we will return your call as soon as possible.
Student Loan Borrowers
Can you help me figure out what type of student loan I have?
Yes. We will assist you in the process to determine the type of loans you hold and provide you with information on student loan repayment options that may be available to you.
I would like to pay my student loan but the payments are not affordable?
If you can afford to pay something each month, just not as much as you are required to pay under your current plan, you should think about setting up a more affordable repayment plan. We can assist you in developing a budget and provide information to investigate flexible repayment options that may be available to you prior to default.
If I stop paying my student loans, what will happen?
The government has extraordinary power to collect student loans. They can seize tax refunds, deny new student loans and grants, garnish wages without a court order, take a portion of Social Security benefits, and charge very large collection fees. If you are not yet in default, we have information to help you consider deferring your payments or requesting a forbearance while you collect your thoughts and figure out your next steps.
How do I know if I have a federal or private loan and what’s the difference?
Federal loans, whether through a bank/private lender or the Department of Education, are funded and tightly regulated by the federal government. Private loans are not subsidized by the government, and therefore are not regulated as closely. Once your loan type has been determined, we will educate you on the distinct differences that apply to your situation.
For additional information, please see the Student Loan Borrower Assistance website.